Referencing is carried out through an independent referencing agency, Vouch, who will be able to provide more clarification on the information which they require from you. The sections below give guidance on the process and more information on what we need from you. Please read the following information carefully to ensure you understand it; if you need any more help, please do get in contact. For more information on renting in the UK please download the government’s How To Rent Guide. Please also read our template contract to familiarise yourself with the terms.
In order to secure a property and take it off the market, a holding fee of one week’s rent will be payable.
In advance of your signing the contract, you will be asked to pay one month’s rent in advance and a security deposit.
Permitted payments and tenant protection information
As well as paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following permitted payments.
For properties in England, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 means that in addition to rent, lettings agents can only charge tenants (or anyone acting on the tenant’s behalf) the following permitted payments:
- Holding deposits (a maximum of 1 week’s rent);
- Deposits (a maximum deposit of 5 weeks’ rent for annual rent below £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent for annual rental of £50,000 and above);
- Payments to change a tenancy agreement eg. change of sharer (capped at £50 or, if higher, any reasonable costs);
- Payments associated with early termination of a tenancy (capped at the landlord’s loss or the agent’s reasonably incurred costs);
- Where required, utilities (electricity, gas or other fuel, water, sewerage), communication services (telephone, internet, cable/satellite television), TV licence;
- Council tax (payable to the billing authority);
- Interest payments for the late payment of rent (up to 3% above Bank of England’s annual percentage rate);
- Reasonable costs for replacement of lost keys or other security devices;
- Contractual damages in the event of the tenant’s default of a tenancy agreement; and
- Any other permitted payments under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and regulations applicable at the relevant time.
How the process works
Once your references have been completed we will be in touch to let you know the outcome – if your application has been approved we will send over a draft copy of the tenancy agreement and book an appointment for you to sign the hard copies. Make sure you check the email address you provided us with regularly so you don’t miss out on important emails.
What we need from you
Before you can rent a property through us we require two forms of ID. Your passport if you are a UK/EU resident or a simple Visa/Permit check for those outside of the EU zone will be one. Your national insurance number is the other. If you have not already done so then please provide scans of these via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring your documents with you into our office to be scanned by our staff.
Cosgroves will carry out references of your employer and previous landlord to ensure you are suitable for the property. When completing these sections of the application form make sure to be thorough – email addresses and complete postal addresses will make sure the process goes smoothly. It is also important to let the people you have named/your company know to expect a reference request. If we are unable to obtain a reference through the details you provided then we may request that you contact your referee on our behalf.
Make sure you provide us with up to date and accurate contact details for each tenant applying. If we can’t get hold of you we can’t process your application.
If you have a lower income, are a student, or have poor financial/rental history we may require a guarantor from you. This may be something you discuss before placing a holding fee, but we may request that you have one after referencing has been completed.
The Guarantor will be responsible for your full rent in the event you are unable to make a payment at any time during your tenancy and the costs of any damages/breach in the terms of the tenancy. They will be required to sign a guarantor agreement which will be available to read before signing up.
Older versions of the How to rent guide:
2015: How to rent guide
2016: How to rent guide
Jan 2018: How to rent guide
Jun 2018: How to rent guide
Jul 2018: How to rent guide
2019: How to rent guide